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Donations, risk attitudes and time preferences: A study on altruism in primary school children

  • Silvia Angerer

    ()

  • Daniela Glätzle-Rützler

    ()

  • Philipp Lergetporer

    ()

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

We study in a sample of 1,070 primary school children, aged seven to eleven years, how altruism in a donation experiment is related to children’s risk attitudes and intertemporal choices. Examining such a relationship is motivated by theories of reciprocal altruism that provide a cornerstone for understanding human social behavior. We find that higher risk tolerance and patience in intertemporal choice increase, in general, the level of donations, albeit the effects are non-linear. We confirm earlier results that altruism increases with age during childhood and that girls are more altruistic than boys. Having older brothers makes subjects less altruistic.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2014-21.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2014-21
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
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  10. J.Keith Murnighan & MIchael Saxon, 1998. "Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults," Artefactual Field Experiments 00100, The Field Experiments Website.
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  13. Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Trust and trustworthiness across different age groups," Artefactual Field Experiments 00110, The Field Experiments Website.
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  16. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
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  18. M. Keith Chen, 2011. "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1820, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Dec 2012.
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